NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Psychotherapy Blog: Depression: Overcoming Guilt and Shame About Feeling Depressed: Part 3

This article is Part 3 of a series about overcoming guilt and shame about feeling depressed.  Part 1 and Part 2 of this series introduced the topic by discussing the symptoms and common misconceptions about major depression and how these misconceptions can create or exacerbate shame and guilt.

Overcoming Depression:  Overcoming Guilt and Shame About Feeling Depressed

Fear of Showing a Vulnerable Emotional Side Can Lead to Guilt and Shame in People Who Are Depressed
Many people who feel guilt and shame about being depressed feel that they're the only ones who feel this way.

Often this occurs because they feel too vulnerable emotionally to talk about their depression and they isolate themselves from others who could be helpful to them.  

Many people who are depressed are also painfully aware that, despite all we know these days about depression and brain chemistry, a stigma about depression and mental health problems in general still exists among certain people who aren't informed about depression.

Men who are depressed were often raised to feel that "big boys don't cry" and they need to be "strong" when they're men.  The implication is that to be considered "strong," they can't show their more emotional or vulnerable side, and they especially can't show that they're feeling depressed.

Women who are depressed, especially women who are in male-dominated professions (like law enforcement, medicine, engineering and so on) often get the message that if they want to excel in their profession, they have to "act like men," which means that, like men, they also shouldn't show their more vulnerable side and they shouldn't reveal that they're depressed.

Feeling Depressed and Alone:  Social Isolation
People who feel depressed often isolate themselves from others, especially when they're at the point when they can't pretend any more to be happy around others because it's just too emotionally and physically exhausting.

Social isolation often makes people who are feeling depressed feel worse because they're not getting the  emotional support they could be getting from loved ones who could be helpful.

Social isolation can also make them feel that they're the only ones who have ever felt depressed which, of course, isn't true.

To dispel this myth, I've made a list (below) of famous people who have suffered with some form of depression:

Famous People Who Were Depressed:
  • Astronaut Buzz Aldrin
  • Roseanne Barr
  • Terry Bradshaw
  • Marlon Brando
  • Jim Carrey
  • Judy Collins
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Patty Duke
  • Carrie Fisher
  • Tipper Gore
  • Jon Hamm
  • Ernest Hemmingway
  • Janet Jackson
  • Billy Joel
  • Ashley Judd
  • Vivian Leigh
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Greg Louganis
  • Michelangelo
  • Rosie O'Donnell
  • Marie Osmond
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Princess Diana
  • J. K. Rowling
  • Winona Ryder
  • Brooke Shields
  • Emma Thompson
  • Ted Turner
  • Mike Wallace
  • Andre Waters
  • Owen Wilson
  • Virginia Woolfe
  • Catherine Zeta Jones
Famous People Who Were Depressed:  Abraham Lincoln

Getting Help in Therapy
Educating yourself about depression and becoming aware of the symptoms are the first steps in getting help.

If you've tried on your own to overcome depression and you haven't succeeded, continuing to feel ashamed and guilty will only make your situation worse.

It's important to seek out the help of a licensed mental health professional who can help you to overcome depression as soon as possible. 

A licensed mental health professional can help you to overcome depression so that you can lead a more fulfilling life.  

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.